I'm new to this forum and have been coming rapidly up to speed on issues relating to spinal conditions since I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in late October of this year. I've had symptoms of pain and numbness radiating down into my right arm for approximately 12 months. The MRI I had in October revealed the following:
"Advanced multi-level degenerative changes of the cervical spine which are most pronounced at C5-C6 where there is disc osteophyte complex causing flattening of the cervical cord with abnormal T2 hyperintensity within the right half of the spinal cord with severe bilateral neuroforamial narrowing. There is additionally moderate neural foraminal narrowing."
I've had early symptoms (no numbness, tingling, just a pain in the right shoulder) since the late 90's. Docs would prescribe ibuprofin and send me home. This led me into yoga, massage, acupuncture in a big way to help manage the pain.
I'm now speaking with a spinal surgeon at UCSF and am considering the ACDF surgery. I'm concerned by the recovery time (I work for an employer, and it will be difficult for me to take more than a few weeks to recover). I'm fortunate to have what is largely a work-at-home desk job that does not involve heavy physical labor. That said, it is intense in hours, expectations, etc. I'm also concerned at the loss of flexibility I might experience.
However, I'm more concerned by the advancing symptoms. My right hand has become progressively number over the last month. I've tried Presnidone, massage, acupuncture, etc., and nothing is providing lasting relief.
Any advice you could offer to someone being presented with the option of ACDF? Any alternatives I should inquire into?
Thank you in advance.